Having set up an informative home page that displays all the important course information when students open the course, the only thing that is missing is the most recent announcement(s) displayed. A small horizontal widget bar would be ideal and could be placed under the course title or at the top of the page.
Announcements are vital to the running of a course, reminding students of a room change, to bring something with them to a certain session etc. While they can subscribe to receive announcements to their email or subscribe to the rss feed (which are both encouraged), it would make so much sense to have the most recent important announcement appear on the Home Page too. This most recent announcement would be visible immediately to all users when the student opens the course, without having to navigate to the announcements page.
I have tried displaying the announcement RSS feed in an iframe on the home page, which seemed like the perfect solution, but unfortunately Chrome and Firefox (not sure about Safari) don't automatically support this without add-ons - only IE does. So that wont work for 95% of students.
I am certain students would find this useful and instructors would feel much more confident that their most recent message is reaching everyone if it is front and center, regardless of whether a student forgot to visit the announcement page or did not subscribe to an rss feed or email announcements visit the announcement page.
Maybe there is already a widget out there that I am missing that will fill this gap. Or other solutions or ideas out there to solve this?